Showing posts with label Dani Hatakka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dani Hatakka. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Tulos: Cup draws, interviews and Japan

Been a fairly slow few weeks in the Finnish football world since the last update. Part of the joy of a summer league perhaps... Anyway, here is a little recap.

Sexypöxyt celebrate their 30th anniversary this year

The Suomen Cup fourth round draw took place on Monday, pitching some potentially very interesting ties. TamU-K will host IFK Mariehamn, PEPO play KuPS and Sexypöxyt will play Gnistan. Meanwhile, our partner club Atletico Malmi defeated NuPS to reach the fourth round for the first time, they will play the winner of JanPa and Jomela IK. I'm still waiting to hear on the availability of Malmi replica jerseys.

I've spoken to Dani Hatakka of KuPS and Richie Dorman of SJK, who were both very interesting and pretty open about life in Veikkausliiga. Dani spoke about his scoring prowess for the Finland U21 side, while Richie was grateful to Finnish football for the chance to become a professional, having spent time at Blackburn as a youngster. Sent a few emails for further interviews, hopefully will have some more soon.

HJK's attempts at world domination continue with rapid speed - they announced the signings of Japanese international forward Mike Havanaar and Swedish goalkeeper Daniel Örlund, who join fellow Japanese Atom Tanaka and former Nottingham Forest midfielder Guy Moussi. HJK CEO Aki Riihilahti spoke to MTV3 about the club's ambitions - while admitting that they had sold more Atom shirts in a week than any other player sold in the whole of 2014, while over forty thousand people watched highlights of the win over RoPS, while the usual figure is in the hundreds.
Jari Litmanen's 44th birthday passed by on February 20th with the usual fanfare and ticker tape. He keeps his usual low profile, making personal appearances in pubs etc.

MYPA appear to have folded in their present form, the club administrators have applied for bankruptcy. While it's likely that the various junior clubs will continue in some form, it's a shame that over-spending and poor financial management have enabled to club to wither. Watch this space for future news.

The latest Eremenko talent, sixteen-year-old Sergei, scored twice for Jaro in their Liigacup defeat to SJK. He has already spent time training with Internazionale's youth set-up, while those ITK lot reckon he could potentially be as good as brothers Roman and Alexei.

Anyway that's it for now - I'm trying to push the ETS Facebook page a bit more these days, so make sure you like that for some more slow-time updates. Twitter is so flimsy and instant...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Interview with KuPS defender Dani Hatakka

Yet another interview, this time with Finland U21 defender Dani Hatakka, who has recently signed for KuPS after leaving Honka. Enjoy.

Dani in his new KuPS colours - photo via

You were the second highest scorer at the recent Commonwealth Cup with four goals - is that something you've worked on over the summer?
To be honest I've been focusing on different kind of things during the pre-season other than scoring goals, but I've always been quite strong in set pieces. In the ComCup, I guess I was just in a right place at the right time four times! Unfortunately I couldn't reach the top scorer title which was only one goal away!

Dani celebrating his four goals - photo via the Commonwealth Cup website

One of your goals was a fifty metre shot from a free kick - was that the best goal you've scored?
Well at least it was the most memorable goal so far but I'd like to think that my best goal is still coming somewhere in the future..

Hatakka from the half-way line - Vine via Oskari Karppinen

You were at Honka until recently, under difficult times. Did the uncertainty about the debts and future affect the players?
As crazy as it sounds, I think the players at Honka were used to our salaries not being paid on time. Of course we worried what will happen to our club and for us players. One thing we can proud of was that when it was time to go train we trained 100% professionally and there was no space for uncertainty.

You were the first team to be managed by Shefki Kuqi, was he as passionate behind the scenes? Did he encourage the players to swan dive after goals?
Shefki is very passionate when it comes to football. Behind the scenes, he is a very warm and kind person.

After a bad start last year, KuPS improved hugely under the new coach - how well do you think KuPS will do in 2015?
So far we've had a really good pre-season and I really feel there's a purpose, whatever we do in training. We haven't played well in the LiigaCup but I feel very confident and I can't wait for the season to start!

Which players do you watch closely to learn from?
I watch Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry very closely.

Dani in action for Honka against KuPS - photo via Heikki Saukkomaa

A lot of Finns have a favourite English team to follow, which do you support?
I don't really have a team of my own. Because I watch Ivanovic and Terry playing that way, I kind of cheer for Chelsea.

You spent some time with Udinese in 2012, did you get to meet any of their big names? Did it give you a taste for playing abroad?
Yes, I had the honour to meet some first team players such as Antonio Di Natale. It was a great experience for me to see a big organisation like Udinese so closely. I spent the week with Sulley Muntari's younger brother who also trained there at the same time. I still speak with him every now and then.

What's your favourite bit about Kuopio? Have you been up the Puijo Tower yet?
It's hard to choose one favourite bit, although I like living here. I have a good group of friends, a nice apartment with a view over the harbour and Lake Kallavesi. Kuopio is quite a small city but still there's quite a lot going on. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to visit Puijo Tower yet. I think I'm gonna wait for some nice day in the middle of summer to go there.

Nikolai Alho and Jesse Joronen have both told me about their 325 Media project - have they tried to get you to join in as well?
Haha, no, but I wonder why?! I think we've had so many national team trips together so they know that I wouldn't add any value to their music haha! It's great that they have a good thing going on outside of football and I'm impressed every time Niko releases a new song.


So there's another interview - I've had a couple of messages with suggestions, I'm working on those!